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Entries about st clements island

Views from a Water Taxi of Blackistone Light

St Clements Lighthouse Museum at Colton's Point


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday July 27, 2008

We left my husband at home fixing his car and we took my car and drove out to Colton's Point to the St. Clement's Light Museum.
4169377-Visiting_the_Museum_Coltons_Point.jpgSt Clement's Light Museum from the parking lot

St Clement's Light Museum from the parking lot


Right next to the museum is the former Charlotte Hall School.
former Charlotte Hall School 2001

former Charlotte Hall School 2001


This authentic 19th century one room schoolhouse was moved to this location and restored in 1991. I saw it in Charlotte Hall before it was moved, but I've never been inside.
4123206-Little_Red_Schoolhouse_Coltons_Point.jpgLittle Red Schoolhouse 2008

Little Red Schoolhouse 2008


The St. Mary's County Museum website says that this museum is ADA compliant (which I can't imagine that it was originally). I suspect it is similar to the schools that the local county Amish have even now.
From the museum entrance

From the museum entrance


The St. Clement's Island Museum is a museum about Maryland History on the mainland in Colton's Point. We took our Virginia friends to this museum in 2002. They were surprised at the different interpretation of the history in Maryland from what they had been taught in Virginia. Since my granddaughter went to school in SC, she didn't know any of this history from either side.

We got to the museum about noon. We bought a ticket for the museum and water taxi and got our wristbands. We walked around the museum - both of us took pictures.

The Ark and The Dove departed from the Isle of Wight in England on the feast day of St. Clement. The museum has a copy of Father Andrew White's written account of the voyage.
Henry the 8th and his wives

Henry the 8th and his wives

Record of settlement of the colony

Record of settlement of the colony

4123266-Ark_and_Dove_models_Coltons_Point.jpgGranddaughter taking a photo of the Ark and Dove models

Granddaughter taking a photo of the Ark and Dove models


The Potomac Room has a model of the Blackistone Lighthouse which has been rebuilt on St. Clement's Island by volunteers.
573164864123086-Photo_of_the..nts_Island.jpgPhoto and Model of the lighthouse

Photo and Model of the lighthouse

Model of Blackistone Light in the museum

Model of Blackistone Light in the museum


It was this lighthouse that I wanted to visit. There are also exhibits on the industries of hunting, crabbing, fishing and oystering.
Granddaughter looking at baby carriage

Granddaughter looking at baby carriage

When the Ark and the Dove first arrived in the Potomac, they first stopped at an island, which they named in honor of St. Clements, the patron saint of mariners. They didn't land on the mainland right away because they weren't sure if the Indians were friendly or not. The Indians proved to be friendly.

In more recent times, the island was known as Blackistone Island after the Blackistone family who owned it.

On March 25, 1634, the settlers erected a large wooden cross and celebrated a Catholic mass led by Father Andrew White.
848133544123235-Cross_from_i..nts_Island.jpg1934 Cross commemorating the first Landing

1934 Cross commemorating the first Landing


In 1934, to celebrate Maryland’s 300th birthday, Governor Albert Ritchie, dedicated a 40- foot commemorative cross recognizing this site as the first location where there was religious toleration practiced in America. The water taxi used to come to a pier near this cross. Today the water taxi comes to the pier next to the rebuilt lighthouse, but the cross is still there.
Heron statue with Maryland flag in front of the museum

Heron statue with Maryland flag in front of the museum


St. Clement's Manor was built on Longworth Point by Dr. Thomas Gerard who was one of the original settlers of Maryland.
Marker for Dr Gerard

Marker for Dr Gerard

St. Clements Island historic sign

St. Clements Island historic sign


Later it was renamed Blackistone house by Dr. Gerard's son-in-law and the name of the area was changed to Colton's Point. We could see the island from the museum.
489917081527791-From_St_Clem..tons_Point.jpgSt. Clement's Island from Colton's Point

St. Clement's Island from Colton's Point


St Clements Island (since it is really an island) can only be reached by boat, but a lot of local residents come out on their own boats to picnic on the beach and swim. You need to bring all your supplies (food, water, towels) as there are no facilities on the island.
Beaches from the top of the lighthouse

Beaches from the top of the lighthouse


A satellite view of the island shows that there are two docks.
Satellite view of the island

Satellite view of the island


One of them is more protected than the other one and can be used in windier weather. It is also closer to the lighthouse. The other one sticks out into the Potomac, and is on the side away from the lighthouse. It has deeper water and so bigger boats (and sailboats) can get into the pier.
Water taxi sign on mainland

Water taxi sign on mainland

Granddaughter on the pier

Granddaughter on the pier

We took the water taxi out to St. Clement's Island. The water taxi runs on the weekends from about 12:45 to 3, weather permitting. It costs $5.00 each for the round trip.
338212574123207-From_the_wat..tons_Point.jpgSchoolhouse and Colton's Point shore

Schoolhouse and Colton's Point shore

Looking back to Colton's Point from the water taxi

Looking back to Colton's Point from the water taxi


Granddaughter in the water taxi

Granddaughter in the water taxi


To get to the pier closest to the lighthouse (which the water taxi uses) you need a fairly shallow draft of boat as the water around the island isn't that deep. From the water taxi we saw a sign which says "Danger Obstruction".
Low Water and Obstructions

Low Water and Obstructions


I took a lot of photos of the lighthouse from the water taxi.
151752564123236-Cross_and_li..nts_Island.jpgCross and lighthouse from the water taxi

Cross and lighthouse from the water taxi

178048514123071-Side_closest..nts_Island.jpgSide closest to shore with downspouts

Side closest to shore with downspouts

364428064123294-Lighthouse_a..nts_Island.jpgLighthouse and oil house from the water taxi

Lighthouse and oil house from the water taxi


Now we could explore the island
RESERVED for Water taxi

RESERVED for Water taxi


Walking up the pier

Walking up the pier

Looking down on the dock from the steps

Looking down on the dock from the steps

30137424123316-No_Crabbing_..tons_Point.jpgNo Crabbing This Side of Pier--No Docking Sunset to Sunrise

No Crabbing This Side of Pier--No Docking Sunset to Sunrise


Taxi going back for another load

Taxi going back for another load


Map of the area

Map of the area

Story of the lighthouse

Story of the lighthouse

The Story of Blackistone Light

On August 14, 1848, Congress appropriated $3,500 for building a lighthouse on Blackistone Island. John Donahoo, who was known for his quality work and reasonable rates, was contracted to build the lighthouse. Donahoo would eventually build over a dozen beacons on the shores of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Most of his lighthouses took the form of a conical tower, but Blackistone Lighthouse consisted of a two-and-a-half-story residence with a short tower protruding through the center of its pitched roof.
Standing in front looking up

Standing in front looking up


Isaac Wood was hired as the lighthouse’s first keeper and was initially responsible for minding the eleven oil lamps, set in fourteen-inch reflectors, that were used to produce a fixed white light at a focal plane of forty-six feet above the river.
Light on top of the house

Light on top of the house


During the Civil War, Confederate forces planned to destroy the lighthouse to keep it from aiding Union forces. When Keeper Jerome McWilliams learned of the plan, he pleaded with the Confederates to spare the structure as his wife was close to childbirth and moving her off the island would endanger both her life and that of the unborn child. The Confederate officer had compassion on the couple and instead of tearing down the lighthouse opted to confiscate the supply of oil and destroy the lantern and lens. This incident occurred in May 1864, and a new lantern was installed later that year.
Side of the Lighthouse

Side of the Lighthouse


The winter of 1917 – 1918 caused unprecedented erosion on St. Clements Island, forcing the Lighthouse Service to place 400 tons of riprap stone on the island to restore the existing shore protection that had been displaced by ice and storms.

Blackistone Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1932, and twenty-four years later a shell from the nearby Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren VA
Target for big guns

Target for big guns


reportedly exploded near the abandoned lighthouse and set it afire. The Navy later razed the walls of the structure

Through the efforts of the St. Clement's Hundred, a local community organization created for the preservation of St. Clement's Island, a replica of the Blackistone Lighthouse was constructed and completed in June of 2008. The replica is located on the southern end of the island and stands on higher ground and overlooks the ruins of the original lighthouse. This magnificent 2-story structure was built using the original blueprints of the 1851 lighthouse..
Rebuilt Blackistone Light

Rebuilt Blackistone Light


First part of the article

First part of the article

Second part of the article

Second part of the article

Third part of the article

Third part of the article

The only thing left of the original buildings on the island was this little building which was for kerosine storage - it is called an oil house.
Oil house from lighthouse porch

Oil house from lighthouse porch


We went down in the cellar because it was cooler down there . The floor is all of permeable brick. There is the outline of where the cistern was in the original lighthouse.
Outline of the Cistern

Outline of the Cistern


I didn't climb up to the light.
Stairs of the light

Stairs of the light


But my granddaughter climbed up to the top and took my camera with her so that I had some pictures of the view from there.
172261294123308-Dock_from_th..nts_Island.jpgLooking down from the light onto the dock and the foundations

Looking down from the light onto the dock and the foundations


She had a camera, but she had not brought the attachment to download the pictures.

After we got back to the mainland from St. Clements Island, I drove around to some of the historic buildings in our area - such as St. Xavier Church at Medley's Neck

St. Xavier Church at Medley's Neck

Manor of Little Brittaine

Manor of Little Brittaine

Tomorrow we will go for a sail in our boat.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:09 Archived in USA Tagged museum lighthouse coltons_point st_clements_island Comments (0)

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